ANOTHER fierce battle to round off their weekend saw the Belle Vue ‘Cool Running’ Colts fall just short 47-43 at Mildenhall, though they still managed to snatch the bonus aggregate point.
The visitors made a string start at West Row thanks to a heat advantage from Matt Marson and Sam Hagon, but a quick response from the Fen Tigers in Heat 2 put them on the back foot.
Nevertheless, true to their tenacious attitude and trailing by 12 points after six races, the Cool Running Colts got stuck in and set to work trying to narrow the gap.
Successive, subsequent heat advantages in Belle Vue’s favour soon brought the score line back to just a 2-point deficit with only three races to go.
Jack Smith, Luke Muff and James Pearson claimed a handful of heat wins in that batch of heats, supported by their team mates and kept Manchester’s finest well in the mix.
A tapes exclusion for Muff in Heat 14 saw Paul Bowen replace him but, still suffering with an ankle injury from the previous evening, was unable to keep up with his team mate Freddy Hodder.
It brought the afternoon down to a last-heat decider, with the Cool Running Colts in a prime position to force a draw and Mildenhall into Super Heat territory.
But the Fen Tigers put a stop to any thought of a last-gasp victory for Belle Vue and sealed the win on the night, though the aggregate bonus point went the way of the opposition.
Colts co-boss Graham Goodwin said: “This really was a meeting of two halves. The first seven races we were really struggling, we were 12 points down and looking like the bonus point was slipping away.
“The track was very tricky to begin with, very rough and it was catching a lot of our boys out, so we requested a grade after Heat 4 and that seemed to slicken it off a little bit.
“After that, and after the boys got dialled in we were like a completely different team. We couldn’t be prouder of how the boys fought back in the second half of the afternoon.
“All the boys were giving everything and come Heat 14, we genuinely felt we had a shot at the full three points because, had we got a 5-1, we’d have forced a Super Heat.
“Full credit to the guys, they made the gate but a bit of hard riding from the Fen Tigers put a stop to those plans, but we managed to secure the bonus point which is what we were after..
“We’ve got a bit of a wait until our next meeting at Kent on June 18, which isn’t ideal when you’ve got such momentum. You want to keep it going but I’m sure the boys will pick up from where they left off.”
Mildenhall Fen Tigers 47: Josh Warren 10+1, Alfie Bowtell 10, Ben Trigger 9+1, Lee Complin 7+1, George Congreve 6+2, Arran Butcher 4+1, William Richardson 1.
Belle Vue Colts 43: Jack Smith 12, Matt Marson 8+1, James Pearson 8, Freddy Hodder 6, Luke Muff 5, Sam Hagon 4, Paul Bowen 0
Top scorer Jack Smith.